On June 14, I attended the unveiling of plaque for Art Carr.
I knew Art, Rex Fee, Jim Carnahan and Art and Freda’s sons, Burt and Charley.
Another friend, Brian Wilson grew up in Palmerston. I grew up in Moorefield. Like many others, Brian and I attended Norwell High School.
Both Brian I worked at the Kitchener-Waterloo Record. Brian passed away New Year’s Eve 1979. I started at the Record in 1963 and worked there until 1996.
At the Record, I started as linotype operator and progressed through various jobs in hot type.
As a result of an offset course, I moved into graphic arts camera department in 1972. That job expanded to include plate making and preparing colour separations.
In the fall of 1979, I enrolled at University of Waterloo and over the next 10 years, I operated a DEC 1170 computer system while I completed my degree.
For a time I wrote a weekly automotive column for the Record. In 1996, I left the Record.
In the next 10 years, I managed an automotive publication in Kitchener and sold advertising for the Auto Trader. Over the years, many times, I dropped in to see Art. He was always receptive to visitors and we usually talked about the newspaper/printing trade.
Largely self-taught, Art and Rex demonstrated absolute genius at building/adapting readily available stuff to achieve his goals.
I recall seeing a waxer he and Rex built to use in cold type paste up. For that project, they used a heat element from a hot water tank and rollers from a wringer washer. He and Rex built light tables, a darkroom, a rocker for developing negatives and used a household vacuum to pull negatives onto print plates. The folder for the Observer was created by Art and Rex using bicycle parts.
At another point, a wax crayon factory in Palmerston was considering closing its doors. Their crayon casting machine was beyond repair. Art and Rex adapted a linotype to cast crayons. Their bonus was they continued to print paper labels for the crayons.
I also recall Art running a death notice about a longtime Palmerston resident, when he heard a rumour he had passed. The day the Observer was printed the aforementioned “dead” resident walked into the Observer office. Needless to say, the rumours of his passing were exaggerated.
Art offered to “correct” the oversight. Exactly how would he correct it? He offered to run a birth notice the following week.
We will not see people like Art again. He enriched the newspaper industry and his community.